Roadside barn and tree in Iowa
Once you hit Iowa, you start to see less flat cornfields and more, if small, rolling hills. You also see more signs of human inhabitants- barns and houses start sprouting up along the road. I was struck by this three-story barn, which kind of reminded me of Dorothy’s farm in The Wizard of Oz. Also, The Walking Dead.
Garlic Salmon, Jasmine Rice, and Steamed Broccoli
Confession: This delicious meal did not come from a local neighborhood Iowa joint. It came from a Chili’s. Before you click away, let me just tell you that this was one of the best overall tasting meals for me personally in a long time. There was JUST the right amount of garlic on the salmon to bring out some amazing flavor, and I could not stop eating the rice for it’s deliciousness. On top of it all, there was a generous helping of perfectly steamed broccoli, my absolute FAVORITE veggie, and so healthy. The only drawback was the color of the salmon. The absence of it’s token bright pink hue indicates it is farm-raised and thus fed unhealthy antibiotics and other chemicals. But what more can you expect from a Chili’s? For what it was, it was very good.
Stepping in the Mississippi River!
I made a fuss to get off the highway and step my feet in the Mississippi River, the Mighty Mississippi, the Old Man River, and it was well worth it. It was awesome to be a part of something so monumental, both historically and geographically. Plus, now I can officially say things like “this is the best darn pie this side of the Mississippi!” and somewhat have the experience to say so.
Fun Fact: I’m standing on Iowa territory, but across the river the land you see is Illinois. Just a bridge away- so cool!!